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The Move to Mobile

Today our mobile phones have become apart of our everyday lives, we wake up and look at our phones and go to sleep looking at our phones, so it’s a no brainer that we as consumers will see a rising trend in mobile e-commerce this year. With such easy access to Apple Pay  or Android Pay, consumers can make purchases on their phones in a way not possible before.

Woman is making online shopping with mobile phone. She use credit card and the smartphone.

Statistics from Bronto Software show that the average Australian adult owns 2.9 devices. Furthermore, smartphone devices have the highest percentage of ownership of all age groups except the over 65’s.

However with an abundance of devices, consumers are not always using one device to browse products and follow through with purchases. With easy access to our mobiles we can browse anywhere, and purchase anywhere with the touch of a button or scan of a code.

Click here to read an article on the shopping ways of the future..

The Evolution of the Brick n Mortar Store

The world has shifted online and the traditional shop is struggling to keep up with the technological demands of the tech-savvy consumer. However this year, according to Doug Stephens, founder of Retail Prophet, says that “media is becoming the store, and the store is becoming the media.”

Male Owner Of Gift Store With Digital Tablet

Statistics demonstrate that consumers will often research and browse online yet make a purchase at a store for a more personalised experience. As consumers get smarter, retailers will too. There will be a shift in traditional product based marketing, as physical stores will portray the brand’s ethos and have staff with a plethora of knowledge to really create a unique customer experience, making consumers very brand loyal. Furthermore consumers this year will want to feel at home when they walk into a store, being warmly welcomed in. As online shopping tends to alienate us, we as consumers will crave the human connection which is why the physical store is still quintessential in succeeding in retail today.

We have already seen stores that have adapted this technique, Apple and Nespresso entice their customers by allowing them to touch, play and experiment with their products, and friendly staff who don’t force the product down your throat. The “lifestyle” concept will play a big role this year for the future of how we as consumers shop, making a change to our overall experience and creating stores that consumers will enjoy going to.Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 3.15.01 pmResearch conducted by Bronto Software demonstrates that already lifestyle stores are making an impact on the way the younger generations shop. Although we have greater  access to online shopping and the ability to  browse and compare products, consumers like being able to go into the store and physically handle the product prior to making a purchase. So we may have moved to mobile, but our fundamental need to interact with another human makes the old fashioned shop front still a valuable component in forming a successful retail brand.

Although the physical store remains important the trend is certainly for retailers to have fewer stores, but for the stores that they have to be super flagships showcasing the best the brand has to offer.

What we have seen in 2016 are the likes of Macy’s and Sears in the US reducing their store numbers and floorspace, with Macy’s  expected to close down 100 stores this year.

The US is particularly over saturated with stores having more than double the retailer space (sqm per capita) compared to that of Australia. However, Australia will not be immune to store closures both due to e-commerce and increased competition from over seas. There are simply too many brands competing for the customers dollar. Only those that differentiate themselves and who truly understand their customer will survive. Those “me too” brands who continue to do what what they have always done because they have always done it and fail to adapt to the changing demands of todays consumer may not survive 2017…

To read more about the problems facing US retail click here.

The Zara Way

Fashion is becoming more fast paced than ever and retailers need to become more efficient to stay a float such a cut throat industry.

A brand that is keeping up with the demands of us sometimes inpatient customers is Zara, press play on the video below to see how they are paving the way forward in aligning their ranges to customer’s wants.